Kresge Foundation awards $100,000 grant to build climate resilience, improve health
By Santra Denis, Chief Program Officer
Catalyst Miami will join forces with the Florida International University (FIU) Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) and its NeighborhoodHELP™ (Health Education Learning Program), as well as with the FIU Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), The Miami Foundation (TMF), and Florida Clinicians for Climate Action (FCCA) to offer expertise and connections critical to navigating climate change’s complexities and community/political dynamics.
Miami-Dade County is ripe with opportunities to influence climate resilience and health policy. The groundwork for taking advantage of these opportunities has also been laid, with robust coalitions already active. By amplifying the connections between health/wellness and climate change, we hope to galvanize increased community mobilization and additional system-level reform. We are eager to plan how to maximize all the current possibilities for change.
Although Miami is internationally known as ground-zero for climate change, climate change’s impacts may feel far away for local residents. However, we have evidence that when health concerns are incorporated into local climate policy, we see significant movement in both grassroots advocacy and grasstops response. Through this initiative we will create a strategy to 1) tie climate resilience initiatives necessary for the survival of our region beyond the end of the century to long-ignored health inequities, and amplify these issues to the general public, 2) expand the number of climate & health advocates equipped to create and influence equity-centered policy, including low wealth residents, and health professionals, 3) identify key policies and systems changes centered on community priorities that would result in present-day and future resilience and health equity improvements for low wealth individuals and families in Miami’s urban core.
Kresge Foundation awards $100,000 grant to Catalyst Miami
to build climate resilience, improve health
The Kresge Foundation has awarded Catalyst Miami a $100,000 grant to advance policy solutions aimed at improving climate resilience and equitably reducing health risks in low-income communities. Catalyst Miami is one of 15 community-based nonprofits nationwide receiving grant funding as part of the planning phase of Kresge’s Climate Change, Health and Equity initiative.
With this funding, Catalyst Miami will work with partners from multiple other disciplines and sectors to develop multi-year work plans that address community-defined health and climate priorities.
“Climate change is impacting people in real ways – today. The good news is that community leaders across the country are making smart choices about how they can combat climate change while improving people’s lives and well-being,” Lois DeBacker, managing director of the foundation’s Environment Program, said. “Our newly awarded grants will help more communities proactively tackle the health risks that climate change introduces or exacerbate.”
Following the one-year planning phase, Kresge will award multi-year grants to up to 12 planning grant recipients. The organizations will be supported by the Institute for Sustainable Communities, which serves as the national program office for the planning phase of the community-based strategy of the Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative. ISC’s mission is to help communities around the world address environmental, economic and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all.
For more information on the Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative, visit
About The Kresge Foundation:
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit kresge.org.